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What to pack for your Kilimanjaro trek?

What to pack for your Kilimanjaro trek?

In Tanzania, situated south of the equator, at 19,340 feet (5,895m), Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s “free-standing” mountain. It offers spectacular views, beautiful ice formations for the successful trekker, and the satisfaction of conquering this mighty peak. Below, we will discuss a comprehensive guide to what to pack for your Kilimanjaro trek.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is unique in so many ways. You’ll navigate several distinct climate zones from your origin to the summitThe weather on Kilimanjaro can vary from very hot to extremely cold within a single day. This essentially means you need to pack hiking gear for all weather!

We have compiled a comprehensive Kilimanjaro packing list to help you with your Kilimanjaro preparation. With this list, you can rest assured you will be fine on the mountain.

The porters will carry your backpack or duffel with all your other gear. You take a day pack with the things you need for the day. The pack the porters carry on Kilimanjaro is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds). (Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter.)

Packing Advice: This packing list is just a recommended guideline for your reference. Everything is optional for you to choose from.


As with all hiking and camping expeditions, you will want to dress in layers — to take an outer layer off when you get too warm…and put a layer on when you get chilled. You want your inner layer to be wicking — no cotton. The next layer should be insulating and warm, and the top layer should be waterproof but breathable. You will need clothes for hiking during the day, lounging in the evening, and sleeping. Coatings are necessary as temperatures vary greatly.

Your clothing should be lightweight, breathable, hand-washable, and quick-drying, preferably moisture-wicking and non-cotton.

Wrap clothing in dry bags.

Expect temperatures to be 80-90 degrees F and humid at the bottom, and below freezing on the summit (and possibly much colder if there is wind). It can be chilly at night, even at lower elevations.

  • Long pants (zip-off pants are beneficial)
  • Shorts, mid-thigh or longer
  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Sweater, jacket, windbreaker
  • Rain jacket and rain poncho
  • Sun hat with brim and chin strap
  • Bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)
Cold Weather Clothing
  • Down jacket or parka
  • Fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Fleece pants
  • Waterproof/rain/shell pants
  • Long underwear
  • Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
  • Wool or pile hat
  • Balaclava or neck gaiter
  • Hand and foot warmers (chemically activated)
  • Hiking boots, preferably warm, waterproof, and with ankle support — not too light and not too heavy
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
  • Hiking socks for warmer conditions
  • Wool socks for colder conditions
  • Sock liners to wick away moisture
  • Gaiters (for mud and scree)

  • Sleeping bag (Rated -10 degrees F/-25 degrees C or colder is recommended)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Small camp pillow (or can use a jacket for pillow)

A sleeping pad is free, but some people like to bring a second one.

  • Large duffel bag or backpack with rain cover for porters to carry (60-90 liters)
  • Day pack and rain cover for you to carry (+/- 30 liters)
  • Packing cube, compression bag, dry bag, stuff sacks, dirty laundry bag, reusable clear toiletry bag for airplane
  • Money belt, security pouch, document organizer

Make sure all your luggage has your contact information


Store electronics in dry bags. Remember to set the date and time on your cameras.

  • Cell phone (for photos, music, games, light), charging plug
  • Headlamp, flashlight, small light (for reading, tent lighting, nighttime bathroom trips), extra batteries
  • Camera, lenses, memory disks, batteries, charging plug
  • Tripod (travel size)
  • Video camera, memory disks, batteries, charging plug
  • GoPro, memory disks, batteries, charging plug
  • Lens cleaning cloth
  • Soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Hairbrush, comb, mirror, hair ties
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Deodorant
  • Moist towelettes (handy-wipes)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion, body glide
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Small towel and washcloth
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissue
  • Shaving supplies
  • Nail clippers, nail file
  • Insect repellent
  • Q-tips
  • Sewing kit
  • Feminine products
  • Cosmetics
First Aid

You only need one first aid kit in your travel group, so coordinate with your travel companions.

  • Prescription drugs
  • Malaria pills (if necessary)
  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Aspirin
  • Band-aids
  • Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment
  • Throat lozenges
  • Vitamins
  • Antihistamines
  • Melatonin, Acetazolamide, or other sleep aid
  • Gauze bandages and tape
  • Diarrhea medicine (Imodium AD or similar)
  • Ace bandage
  • Antibiotics (talk to a doctor)
  • Diamox for altitude (talk to a doctor)
  • Ginger and Ginkgo can be helpful for stomach problems

Should you have any questions regarding a list of what to pack for your Kilimanjaro Trek, please feel free to reach us.